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Jake Hamilton
After covering the online gambling industry for over a decade, Jake is a passionate casino enthusiast and a meticulous fact-checker. Well-versed in online slot mechanics and live casino intricacies, he goes the extra mile to analyse the small print and show you the big picture.

Understanding the Insurance Bet in Blackjack – How It Works

Insurance in blackjack refers to a separate bet that players can place while playing some land-based or online blackjack games. The idea behind this side bet is to break even when there is a potential dealer blackjack. It protects you from losing if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace and the second card is a picture card or a 10. The value of an insurance bet is normally half of the player’s main bet, and it pays 2 to 1 if you win. 

The standard procedure involves the dealer dealing the cards after your initial bet is placed. If your hand is strong and the dealer lacks an ace, everything proceeds smoothly. However, when the dealer’s upcard is an ace, you have the option to insure your wager by putting half of your original bet on the insurance. If your prediction is accurate and the dealer indeed has blackjack, you receive a payout at 2:1. In the event that the dealer doesn’t have a natural blackjack, you lose the insurance bet but can continue with your main bet.

Insurance Bet Examples in Blackjack

Placing insurance bets can come in handy at a blackjack gambling table if you want to avoid losing to dealers who are likely to get a natural blackjack. You just need to check your hand total and the dealer’s initial hand to decide if you want to place a blackjack insurance side bet. By using this and other blackjack game strategies recommended by experts, you may boost your chances of landing a win. I have provided examples below to help you understand how an insurance bet works.

  • Dealers Ace Card: The best time to consider insurance betting is when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. Consider a situation where you bet €100 and the dealer has an ace as the upcard. If you place an insurance bet of  €50 and the dealer has blackjack, you will win €100 and break even.
  • Player’s Decision: It is up to the player to decide if they want to take insurance or not. This is a risky decision that requires you to trust your intuition and prediction skills.
  • Insurance Payout: The casino pays 2:1 if you place a blackjack insurance bet and win. I will use a scenario where the original bet is €10 and the insurance wager is €5. With a payout of 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack, the total payout amount would be €10.

The Best Time to Take Insurance in a Blackjack Game

Knowing the most appropriate time to take insurance against the dealer’s blackjack is a useful skill to have. The best-case scenario is when the dealer is dealt an ace as their face-up card. This is not an ideal situation for a player because an ace plays a crucial role in forming a blackjack. Without taking insurance when the dealer has an ace, you will automatically lose your wager if the dealer’s hole card is a 10 or a picture card and your hand value is not a blackjack.

The good news is that you can capitalise on the insurance side bet at blackjack tables to protect yourself in such a situation. Simply place half of your original bet as an extra wager, and you will break even if the dealer has a natural blackjack. I would also recommend taking insurance if you have a hand that is most likely to bust if you hit. If you are good at card counting in land-based casinos, you can also take insurance if the odds are favourable. The experts at Turbico Casino have crafted a comprehensive guide on how to play blackjack, providing valuable gambling tips. Feel free to peruse it for an enhanced gaming experience.

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Blackjack Insurance Bet Odds Explained

One of the first steps I took as a gambler was to understand the odds of winning at a blackjack table. This is especially important when playing blackjack with a side bet and other unconventional wagers. You not only need to learn more about blackjack house edge but also be aware of your potential payout. In most cases, online casinos pay 2 to 1 for an insurance wager that is half of the original bet. So, if your main bet is €200, you can place a blackjack insurance side bet of €100. If the dealer has blackjack, the casino will pay €200 in total.

Knowing your odds of winning when taking insurance means understanding the dealer’s odds of getting a blackjack. Remember that this side bet allows you to bet on the dealer getting a natural blackjack with a face-up ace. The dealer’s probability of hitting a natural blackjack with a face-up ace is about 31% (9:4). Therefore, there is a 1 in 3 chance that their hole card is a 10 or a picture card, hence forming a blackjack.

However, you need to be very careful and take full advantage of card counting where possible to avoid losing money in the long run when placing insurance bets. The truth is that there are no guaranteed winnings in gambling, even when the odds are seemingly favourable.

Pros and Cons of Taking Blackjack Insurance Bets

Pros
Protects against the dealer’s blackjack
Potential for extra winnings
A chance to break even
Great choice for card counters
Cons
Insurance bets cost money
Not good for basic strategy

Explaining Even Money Bets and Side Bets in Blackjack Games

Like most experienced blackjack players, I usually consider alternatives to insurance to boost my chances of beating the dealer. If you do not want to take insurance, I recommend other even money wagers, side bets, and the surrender option. I will begin with the even-money proposition to help you explore your options.

Consider a situation where you have blackjack (an ace and a 10-value card) as your first two cards. The dealer also has blackjack. In this case, you may be offered an opportunity to win an amount that is equal to your original bet, regardless of the dealer’s hole card. This even money wager protects you from a push in case the dealer gets a blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, a push will occur on the initial bet, and you will be paid 2 to 1 on your even money side bet. Suppose your original bet is €200, and you have taken even money. You will be withdrawn from that blackjack round with a €200 profit if the dealer gets a blackjack.

I have also seen many online casinos offering blackjack games with the 21+3 side bet. This optional wager is inspired by three-card poker. It is based on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s upcard. Players get extra payouts if they get a Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Straight Flush, or Suited Three of a Kind with these three cards. Other side bets to consider include Perfect Pairs, Super Sevens, Lucky Ladies, Easy Match, and Royal Match

The blackjack surrender bet is another option you might want to consider besides insurance. It allows you to forfeit 50% of your original bet if you have a bad hand that is unlikely to win against the dealer’s stronger hand. Most people surrender when the dealer’s faceup card is an ace. There are early and late surrender options, as explained in Turbico’s guide on blackjack surrender rules at online casinos.

Play Blackjack Games with Insurance Bets at the Best Casinos Picked by Turbico Casino’s Experts

With adequate knowledge of how insurance works in blackjack, you can now try this side bet without going to Las Vegas. The goal is to insure your hand against the dealer’s ace if you think they have a 10 as their hole card. You only need to visit the best online casinos recommended by experts at Turbico Casino to get started. After signing up, you can choose your preferred blackjack game, apply basic strategy, and play variants with insurance bets. If you get lucky, you can claim a blackjack bonus and withdraw your winnings using safe payment methods.

FAQ

What Does Insurance Mean in Blackjack?

Insurance betting allows you to place a side bet if the dealer has an ace as their upcard. An insurance bet is half the original wager and pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack.

When Should I Consider Accepting Blackjack Insurance Bets?

Taking insurance in blackjack is normally recommended when the dealer shows an ace as the upcard. You can also place an insurance bet if you know how to count cards perfectly.

Can I Buy Insurance When Playing Online Blackjack?

Yes, insurance might be a good bet to place when playing blackjack at an online casino. You should first check to see if the selected platform offers this option.

Do All Blackjack Games Have Insurance Bets?

Most blackjack games provide an insurance option for players. Players may also find other side bets, including the widely popular 21+3 side bet and Perfect Pairs.